Drug Trials

A drug is a substance which affects the chemistry of the body.

A good drug is -

  • Effective
  • Safe
  • Doesn't cause side effects

Proccess before a drug Trial:

Labatory Stage Testing - Computer stimulation, tests on samples of animal tissue and other tests in the labatory. Labatory Stage Testing - Animal testing, using maily rodents. Labatory Stage - Ethical comitties agree that the drug can be tested on humans.

Human Testing (Phase 1) - Healthy voulenteers are recruited to test the drugs safety and effects. Phase 2 - A few people with the relevant illness are selected to test the drug for effectivness and side effects. Phase 3 - A large number of people with the relevant ilness. Testing for full information about the drug. Drug is liscensed. Phase 4 - Wider tests are done to test the drug against other drugs for long term risks and benefits.

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Thalidomide is a drug which was first introduced to help people sleep and then they found out it helped women with morning sickness.  Unfortunately, molecules of the thalidomide chemical crossed the placenta and disrupted the growth patterns of the growing foetus. This gave catastrophic deformations of the baby– best seen as limb abnormalities.

This occured because the drug was not trialed on pregnant women. People just started to use it because it helped with their morning sickness.

Initially the drug was banned internationally for the  treatment of morning sickness,But it has now been reintroduced as a treatment for leprosy, It may also be effective against certain types of cancer.

After this the law was made that all drugs had to be thourghly tested on pregnant women before use.

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Effects of Recreational Drugs

Recreational drugs are mind-altering chemical substances that are used for non-medicinal, leisure purposes.

These are split into 4 main categories:

  • Depressants
  • Painkillers
  • Stimulants
  • Performance Enhancers

These types of drugs can lead to addiction and can have a big affect on someones health.

Legal drugs such as caffeine and nicotine are used recreationally. Alchocol is also legal to use for people over the age of 18.

However drugs such as ectasy and cocaine are illegal to use and can cause major health issues.

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Cannabis and Addiction

There are many different names sued for cannabis, such as: Weed, pot, marajuana and crack.

Dangers of cannabis are that:

  • It affects your ability to drive.
  • If you smoke it, it can be harmful to the lungs.
  • It can harm your mental health.
  • It can affect fertility and unborn babies.

Cannabis users are 40% more likely that non users to develop a phychotic ilness such as schizophrenia.

Cannabis is an illegal drug which must be bought from dealers. This can put the user into contact with hard drugs.

Nearly all heroin users previously smoked cannabis.

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Statins, Steroids and Performance Enhancing Drugs

Some atheletes are tempted to use drug to help enhance or improve their performance. Stimulants are examples of drugs used for this purpose.

Steroids are drugs used to build up muscle mass. Other drugs may be used to increase stamina.

Many performance-enhancing drugs are very expensive.This gives an unfair advantage to those who can afford them.

Using these drugs can leave permenant damage to the body and may result in death.

Sattins are used to lower cholesterol. They reduce the amount of cholesterol whcih is produced by the liver. Patients do still need to control their diet to reduce fat intake.

Placebo - 'Dummy' drug

Blind Trial - The participants don't know whether they are being given the drug or placebo.

Double Blind Trial - The participants and people giving the drugs don't know whether it is the drug or placebo.

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